On October 23rd, Saturday, PSA skaters: Paul Rodriguez, Manny Santiago, Mariah Duran, and Jen Soto had a meet & greet at our LA museum location. During the event, skaters from far-and-wide lined up to meet the pros and get their gear signed. CBS Sports also came by and did some coverage of the event, check it out here.
Another notable part of the event was the addition of a new sneaker case at Sneakertopia. Consisting of shoes signed and designed by each skater, the new case is dedicated to skate shoes, an immensely important part of sneaker culture. Of course, Paul Rodriguez brought his highly collectible “What the Paul” SB dunks. However, he brought the sample pair that he skated in for the promo video! Manny Santiago brought his Axion footwear collaborative shoe, his first ever signature sneaker. Last, but not least, Mariah Duran and Jen Soto each brought their Adidas collaborations; Superstars that feature their respective names and custom patterns along the stripes.
Skate and Sneaker culture are pretty much intertwined with each other. As a result, skate shoes permeate the space. Right now, the Nike Dunk and its SB variation, shoes popularized by skaters, are some of the most sought after sneakers on the market. For example, a pair of “What the Paul” SB dunks and the newly released “Mummy” SB Dunks currently go for $5-600 on StockX , depending on the size.
Almost everyone in the sneaker game is well-aware of the Dunk’s hype, but it might surprise some to learn that the Nike Dunk wasn’t intended to be a skate shoe. The Nike Dunk’s original function was as a basketball shoe for College Teams. Signature colorways for each college is where we get the naming scheme for shoes that we use today, like UNC, Syracuse, Michigan, etc. Dunks had virtually no hype when they first released in 1985 and many pairs found their ways into outlets! Eventually, skaters got their hands on them. Citing its comfort and low-price point, the skate community embraced the shoe fully. After some time, professional skater, Eric Koston, approached Nike and told them skaters were already using the shoe, but with a few improvements, it could be tweaked into a separate shoe marketed towards skaters. Thus, the Nike SB Dunk was born. The new and improved skate shoe’s notable differences from its basketball-centric predecessor include an air unit on the insole, elastic straps on the tongue (to further secure the shoe onto a skater’s foot), and its signature puffy tongue.